When speaking on the writing process for his new solo EP, Ether, Mark said: “I really didn’t necessarily anticipate releasing another project so quickly after [debut full-length solo album] Anesthetic, but I had played some shows, some acoustic shows in support of Anesthetic, and I kind of got the idea from playing shows that were really well received that it was cool to sort of interpret those songs into a more mellow vibe.
“I started messing around with some new stuff and I came up with some tunes and had the opportunity to record them and get a timeframe for a release, and that’s where Ether came from.”
When asked if he will bring any of the experimental ideas found on his solo albums into LAMB OF GOD or plans on keeping the two separate, Mark responded: “Honestly, it’s probably the opposite, because there have been times in the past…
“This isn’t like some new way for me to be writing rock songs and acoustic songs and blues music; I’ve been doing that all along. I’m just more known for the metal stuff because, obviously, I’m in LAMB OF GOD, which is a big-profile band. I’ve been always doing this kind of stuff at home or in the background. I’ve done some writing for other artists behind the scenes. That’s always been happening. It’s not like a new endeavor for me in terms of the creative process.
He continued: “What’s new about it is it’s being released and recorded. With regard in how it fits with LAMB, I think there’s times in the past when writing songs for LAMB, where I’ve maybe been a little overambitious in terms of trying to put that rock vibe or that bluesy style or the little too melodic parts to try and sort of force that into the context for LAMB. Sometimes it’s worked and it’s been good for a push and been a catalyst to get out of our comfort zone.
“But there are times as a songwriter that I’ve been frustrated because I have an idea and I can’t quite make it fit, it doesn’t work or it doesn’t turn out how I envisioned it with LAMB,” Mark added.
“I think having this solo stuff, having the opportunity to have a landing pad for those kinds of ideas, have a destination for the more rock kind of stuff, really cleans the slate for me and allows me to have more clarity and focus when I do engage with LAMB OF GOD and I start writing for that band.”
On LAMB OF GOD‘s appearance at the 2019 Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, Mark said: “That particular Sonic Temple Festival, it was in a stadium, and Randy Blythe, who I think is the best frontman in heavy metal, made that stadium into a theater that day.
“I remember telling him when we walked off stage, ‘Randy, you’re the best in the world.’ Because he took tens of dozens of thousands of people who were there, and he shrunk that whole stadium into the size of a 2,500-seat theater.
“That’s why he’s the best in the world at what he does, Mark continued. “I will give him love all day long. He’s one of my best friends and I think he’s the best frontman in heavy metal. Sometimes when you have a star like that and they’re 100 percent on point and the audience is willing, you can actually make that connection even in a monster arena like that.”